Day Nine--Kyoto to Miyajima
Miyajima Travel Blog› entry 9 of 12 › view all entries
It was still raining this morning and had grown even colder during the night! I am really glad I brought my mittens and scarf! We left Kyoto under a forlorn sky which probably fit my mood since I’d really gotten to like Kyoto. It was just the right size for me, like a miniature Tokyo!
We took the Shinkansen past Osaka and Kobe and stopped for a few hours at Himeji Castle before we headed to our final destination of Miyajima Island. As far as castles go, at least the ones I’ve seen in England and Ireland, this one has taken the cake. It was huge! I was very impressed by its size and its architecture as it towered over the city with a commanding presence.
Someone in our group wondered where the inhabitants of the castle slept as there were no apparent bedchambers like you would find in European castles.
One of the most interesting things about the castle was all the stories about it being haunted! I would have liked to have spent the night in the castle to see if any of the stories were true! It seemed that every structure within the castle walls had some sort of tale about death and hauntings. Another interesting thing to note was that a lot of the stones used to build the castle were not just any old stones. Many were donated by the locals, even from the stone laterns one finds at shrines, and the strangest of all, stone coffins! I wonder if there were still people inside those coffins when they were mortared into place?
We climbed the stairs all the way to the top��"what a climb!��"and signed the guestbook there before looking out at the city from all the different angles and heading back down the stairs to explore the rest of the castle grounds.
Our group reassembled a while after that and tried to keep warm until it was time to go to the train station and continue on to Hiroshima.
The island itself is very pretty and cute but hard to navigate on the first try! We wandered through the emptying shopping arcade with all of our luggage and that path took us the long way to our lodge. There were tons of shops though and I look forward to getting a bit of shopping done! Especially at the 1,050 yen shop!
At last we finally got to the lodge and got our rooms but Nadean and I accidently got Sensei’s room which was a western styled room when we were supposed to have a Japanese styled one.
The main event of the evening was dinner itself��"an elegant Japanese styled dinner! It was really elaborate and had a bunch of different little dishes. Unfortunately I couldn’t eat much of it because I’m a vegetarian and almost everything involved meat and fish. I really really enjoyed the experience though, but it was one of those things I wouldn’t want to do again because I felt really bad for not being able to eat most of it and letting it go to waste. I was also sorry that I was the only one not of age so that the rest of the group couldn’t have Sake with the meal.
After dinner a bunch of us hung out in the lobby of the third floor and swapped travelling stories which I always enjoy doing.